Sport Rugby

Friday 19 January 2018

Bennett steers Shannon home


Tadgh Bennett'S kicking proved decisive on the Aviva Stadium's back pitch as his 17-point haul gave Shannon a 22-17 win over Lansdowne.

Shannon's early dominance paid off after 18 minutes when Stephen Keogh burst over the line. Bennett increased the Shannon advantage to 13 with eight first-half minutes remaining but Lansdowne hit back with a try from John Cooney.

Bennett did settle Shannon with his third penalty, but Lansdowne finished the half in style, as Mark Roche got in for a try, the margin down to four (16-12) at the break.

Full-back Ross McCarron got through in the left corner to put Lansdowne ahead after the restart, but Roche was unable to convert, and two more penalties from Bennett were enough to secure victory.

At Clifford Park, Willie Staunton was the match winner for Young Munster as they beat Cork Con 9-7. Two successful kicks inside 26 minutes had his side 6-0 in front but in one of their rare times inside the Young Munster '22', Niall O'Driscoll got in for a Con try. Outhalf Johnny Holland converted. An early second-half penalty by Staunton proved the winner.

Leaders St Mary's beat Garryowen 13-12 but Clontarf managed to keep the pressure on after withstanding a strong second-half comeback by Dolphin to win 32-23 at Castle Avenue. The Cork side started strongest, John Quill finishing a fine team move after only two minutes for an unconverted try.

Clontarf responded quickly, however, Ben Barkley forcing himself over the line. Richie Lane missed the conversion. By the 15th minute Clontarf had control, as a clever pass by Lane sent Mick McGrath through. Dolphin kept in touch with two penalties by Keeshan, but the home side forced another try and went in 11 points up at the break.

Clontarf lost Simon Crawford and Niall Treston to the sin-bin in the second half but two missed two penalties cost the Cork side vital momentum. Crawford returned to run in a try in the 53rd minute which was enough to give Clontarf a game-winning cushion.

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